Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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category spotlight Probiotics and Protein Some attribute the recent yogurt boom to probiotics, which are pres- ent in non-pasteurized yogurts and contribute to healthy digestive and immune systems. "People are getting inspired by yogurt and I think part of that is that probiotics have been in the news lately," says Redwood Hill's Bice. "It's a proven fact they're good for you, and it's trickling down to the mainstream." More recently, the trend of functional yogurts has spread to encompass high-protein products. Greek yogurt is particularly high in protein, a fact that has no doubt added to its appeal. "Eating yogurt as a source of protein is becoming more important than eat- ing yogurt as a source of probiotics," says Tillamook 's Prewett. His company just released a line of Farmstyle Greek yogurts with 14 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce serving. Although women are more likely than men to eat spoonable yogurt (according to a February/ March 2013 Packaged Facts survey), Powerful Men LLC launched a yogurt line geared toward men. Called Powerful Yogurts, each packs 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving. Multicultural Offerings Despite Greek's dominance, other international yogurt styles are emerging. Shelves have been stocking Siggi's Icelandic-style blends, Australian styles from Wallaby and Noosa, and Trimona's Bulgarian-style yogurt, as well as Lifeway Foods' kefir, a drinkable yogurt said to have originated in the Caucasus Mountains of Eurasia. "The Greek phenomenon opened consumers' eyes to the yogurt category, and now they're not afraid to experiment with other styles of yogurt," says Rostom Baghdassarian of Karoun, which pro- duces Greek, Mediterranean, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Indian yogurt lines. Whelan of Sahadi's says such products dominate its yogurt sales. "Ethnic yogurts do well with us. We have our plain and honey Lebanese-style yogurt, which is thick and tangy. And we do wonderfully with Karoun Dairies Middle Eastern–style yogurts, labneh, and yogurt drinks." Unusual Flavors and Toppings Gone are the days of yogurt in basic fruit flavors. Now, exotic varieties are de rigueur. Fage, with its line of Total yogurts, spurred on the trend a few years ago with blueberry acai and cherry pomegranate, and has just launched Fage Total Split Cups in apple cranberry, blood orange, and Key lime. Other recent introductions include Dreaming Cow's blueberry cardamom and dark cherry chai yogurts, and YoCrunch's Yopa line of strained Greek yogurts in such flavors as Key lime with graham cracker pieces and pineapple with toasted coconut. Boasting even more exotic appeal are special seasonal and even savory f lavors. The recently released line of savory vegetable yogurts from Blue Hill Farm includes carrot, sweet potato, beet, butternut squash, tomato, and parsnip f lavors. A CULTURE OF INNOVATION: THREE INDUSTRY TRENDSETTERS Fage: In 1926, the Filippou family opened the first dairy shop in Athens, Greece. Successful in large part due to its creamy yogurt, the shop led the family to establish the first wholesale distribution network for yogurt in the country. In 1975, it introduced branded yogurt products in small, sealed tubs to the Greek market. (Before, yogurt had been sold in bulk and its manufacturers were largely anonymous to consumers.) Fage hit the U.S. market in 1998. Today, the yogurts are sold in some 280 supermarket chains, for a total of 75,000 retail outlets in more than 35 countries. The family-owned company also popularized the "sidecar" format of mix-ins and consistently turns out new, creative flavors, such as passion fruit clementine and mango guanabana. Karoun Dairies: Since beginning with braided string cheese in 1990, this company has successfully rolled out completely new products, including a line of Indian dairy, encompassing paneer, ghee, lassi, and yogurt. It has also developed Greek, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Hispanic lines. "We positioned ourselves on the trade side to be the one-stop shop for international dairy, and retail stores are seeing the benefit of that," says CEO Rostom Baghdassarian. More recently, Karoun introduced a Greek yogurt line sweetened exclusively with honey, as well as a yogurt spread (marketed as a healthier alternative to cream cheese). Making its products the traditional way—with short, additive-free ingredient lists—has been among the company's mantras. Ten years ago, Karoun began using exclusively rBST-free milk in its yogurts and cheeses. Tillamook: More than a century ago, several small creameries in Oregon's Tillamook Valley formed the Tillamook County Creamery Association. That number has grown to more than 100, with its products now available nationwide. In addition to yogurt, Tillamook produces cheese, butter, ice cream, and sour cream. The co-op recently launched the first yogurt dessert line and, more recently, the Farmstyle Greek line. For the latter, buttermilk cultures tame Greek yogurt's characteristically tart flavor. Tillamook has more than 400,000 fans on Facebook and connects with consumers daily via tweets and blogging. The yogurt, cheese, and ice cream divisions are supported by a mobile sampling tour, featuring custom-built and –branded Volkswagen buses and trained brand ambassadors promoting the line. 82 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com CatSpotlight_yogurt.indd 82 3/17/14 3:54 PM

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